She’s one of the good guys. When Alia Scott started working for WPDN in November of 2018, she came into the practice with wide eyes and pure intentions. That wasn’t just because of her age, either (at just 28 years old, she’s the youngest associate in the firm). Alia believed in the justice system and she became a lawyer not for the money, but for the opportunity to help people and actually do some good in the world. Many law students are like that. They begin their law school career with the best of intentions, but then life happens and many of those intentions fall by the wayside. Only a select few lawyers are able to maintain their grace, stamina and determination to leave the world better off than how they found it.
WPDN is full of lawyers like these, which is why Alia wanted to work with them in the first place. She wanted to make a lasting, positive impression on the world around her and she wanted to use her skills in reading, writing, researching and public speaking to do it.
“I think I decided to become a lawyer because I’ve always been interested in the legal system and the justice system,” Alia stated. “After graduating with my Bachelors Degree in criminal justice, I decided that the legal field would be something I would be good at. So, I decided to go to law school. Plus, I really enjoy research and writing and that’s a big aspect of a lot of legal practices. Mostly, I’ve just always had a desire to kind of help the underdogs.”
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That desire to help the underdogs first led Alia down the path of Immigration law. But with the state of immigration currently in disarray and extremely backlogged, she has since focused her attention on other aspects of law.
“I would say that most of my cases are more on the defense side of things,” Alia revealed. “I have a public defender contract, but I’m also one of the town prosecutors for Evansville now. So, in the criminal aspect, I do both. But I also work on insurance defense and business litigation. And in the business litigation realm, I’ve done both plaintiff and defendant work.”
She truly is a jack-of-all-trades and her interest in all aspects of law are what led her to WPDN.
“I got in touch with Kyle [Ridgeway] and I had known Amy [Iberlin] from college and I really respect both of them a lot,” she stated. “They both said that the type of work that everyone does here [at WPDN] is really varied, and that’s what I was looking for. I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. I knew some things that I liked and I knew some things that I didn’t like, but I wasn’t quite sure about which direction to go. So, I decided that I wanted to practice somewhere that had a lot of mentorship and a wide variety of areas of law that I could kind of dip my feet in and figure out what suited me.”
In the year Alia has been with WPDN, she has learned a lot about the practice, about law and even about herself. She has won the majority of her cases and has stood out in all of the best ways. But, she says, her success never would have been possible if WPDN didn’t create an environment that encouraged asking questions.
“I’ve been told to never be afraid to ask questions, which is a silly thing to say, maybe, and a lot of people say it, but [my colleagues at WPDN] really mean it,” Alia said. “Everyone here is so willing to help you out with a project or answer questions, even if it may seem simple. I think just being able to learn from a lot of different people and see their style helps me create my own style with writing and how to engage with other attorneys.”
Engaging with fellow attorneys, as well as with clients, is a very big aspect of law. Far too often, especially inside of a courtroom, emotions can override logic. Things can get heated and it’s easy to fall into a shouting match. But,in Alia’s mind, arguing and relying on emotions is not how a case is won.
“I really do trust the justice system and I think I learned that when I was clerking,” she said. “If you have a case with a lot of questions, and a lot of doubts, trust the system and take it to trial. But, at the same time, if it’s a case where people just have really staunch positions and they don’t want to give in at all, then you need to be able to use effective communication and really talk to people. The justice system, especially with trials, isn’t made for people just wanting to argue. It’s made for finding the truth and the facts of the situation. So, one thing I’ve learned is definitely how to be a better communicator.”
Those communication techniques are things Alia applies to every case that she is a part of. Whether it’s civil or criminal case, she tries to find the truth and, thus, speak the truth in every case she tries. That is a practice that every lawyer at WPDN applies to their work. They’re not trying to play “gotcha” or to accuse without merit or to manipulate. They are there to find the truth. And the truth of the matter is, most of the time, lawyers are the good guys.
“It seems like a lot of people think that lawyers are always involved in negative situations in people’s lives, but there’s a lot of things that come out of these offices that I think are really positive,” she reiterated. “Whether it’s setting up a business, facilitating an adoption or even divorce, at the end of the day, can be a positive change for people’s lives. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to change the perception of attorneys, but I do want people to know that attorneys aren’t only there when you’re having a bad day; they can really be a good point of reference and help with a lot of good things, too!”